A Wider Bridge to Israeli Transgender Teens

Newspaper Miami Herald covered the South Florida visit of Executive Director of Ma’avarim, Elisha Alexander, and the Israeli transgender teen activists: “Ma’avarim, as well as other trans organizations around the world must work together, tell our stories and explain the importance of our work.”

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Ma’avarim in Miami meeting leaders of Survivors Pathway, an LGBTQ non-profit that provides a range of support services to victims of violence and hate crimes.

Ma’avarim is a Hebrew word for “transitions,” and a fitting name for an Israeli organization that facilitates both personal and social transition for its teenage transgender clients.

A Wider Bridge, an American organization that fosters cultural understanding and connection to Israel for LGBT Jews and non-Jews, last week hosted four members of the group Ma’avarim for a visit to South Florida, the beginning of a two-week American tour with stops also in New York, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Ma’avarim youth leader Amy Auerbach, 17, adores music and transgender American writer and media personality Janet Mock.

“Before I started this trip, I was really hoping to get to know some really important people who cares about their communities and who help make changes,” Amy said. “This is what I want to do in my community in Israel. I want to help create collaborations between Ma’avarim and other organizations all over the world and especially in the USA. There is such a great LGBTPAQ community South Florida, because their activists really do care about them and about their future.

“The lessons I’ll take back to Israel with me are the lessons about how we can take our organization to new places and how to earn some new achievements,” she said. “I would like to tell the readers about a little quote that took my activism to a new level for me. It is a quote from the group, My Chemical Romance: The future is bulletproof. The aftermath is secondary. It’s time to do it now and do it loud. Killjoys make some noise.”

Arthur Slepian, founder and executive director of A Wider Bridge in San Francisco, designed the U.S. city tour so that Ma’avarim members could meet LGBT leaders in different U.S. cities.